St. Patricks Day:Not Just for the Irish Presented by www.MenuPlanningCentral.com and www.EagerLearner.com Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 1 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
St. Patricks Day: Not Just for the IrishWhat do these things have in common: shamrocks, leprechauns, parades ofpeople wearing green and orange, and green beer? They are all a part of St.Patricks Day, of course! But why should St. Patricks Day be celebrated andwhat types of activities would one find?History of St. Patricks DayHistory cannot say for one hundred percent certainty who the real Saint Patrickwas, but he is believed to have been Maewyn Succat, born around 385 AD.Succat, baptized Patricius (or Patrick), was the son of a Roman nobleman, andwas born in Scotland. He was kidnapped from his hometown and taken as aslave into Ireland around the age of 16. He escaped to Gaul, at the age of 22,and returned to Scotland. There he followed his father and grandfather into theCeltic Church and later he became a missionary who returned to Ireland.To learn about the man behind the holiday, one can read Confessio and Epistola,letters he wrote. The first is described as Saint Patricks spiritual autobiography.The second is his attempt to right the mistreatment of Irish Christians at thehands of the British. These two works, however, do not teach us enough aboutthe man to know what is true and what is fancy.Because so little is written about Saint Patrick, there is much that remainsunknown about the man. The folklore surrounding him, however, abounds. He isbelieved to have raised people from the dead. The fact that there are no snakesin Ireland is also attributed to the man, although snakes have never beenindigenous to the country. Whatever the folklore, Patrick is said to have lived inIreland as a missionary for thirty years establishing monasteries and schoolswherever he went. He also converted people to Christianity throughout thecountry.One of the stories surrounding Saint Patrick is that he won pagan Ireland toChrist by his explanation of the Trinity using a shamrock. His taught, as the storygoes, that God is one being, with three separate personalities – Father, Son, andHoly Spirit. As a teaching tool, he plucked a shamrock from the ground andshowed the pagans how the shamrock is one plant with three separate leaves.Historical accounts say that Saint Patrick died on March 17, 460 AD. BishopPatrick has been liturgically celebrated as a saint soon after his death, despitethe fact he has never been formally canonized. It was also around his death thatSt. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated. Although there is no proof that SaintPatrick was associated with the Catholic Church, they have embraced him astheir own. Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 2 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
March 17 has been celebrated as Saint Patrick’s Day, many believe, since hisdeath. As Irish people have moved out of their homeland, they have taken theirholidays and celebrations with them. Of course, Ireland has the most elaborateSt. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but they can be found around the world whereverthere are large populations of Irish people.In the United States, Boston, Massachusetts hosted the first St. Patrick’s Daycelebration in 1737. Since that time, large cities throughout America have beenadding yearly parades, often coloring their food and beer green. Not to beoutdone, in 1965 Chicago, Illinois began coloring the Chicago River green eachyear to celebrate this Irish-born holiday.Other Components Associated with Ireland and St. Patrick’s DayGreen - Most likely, as a child, you made sure that you wore green to school onSt. Patrick’s Day. Why? It is believed that children began the tradition of pinchinganyone who wasn’t wearing this springtime color. Green is also the color of thefields of Ireland and the venerated shamrock. It is also associated with nature,which may pay homage to the Druids of old.The Shamrock – This three-leafed clover covers Ireland and, according to Irishlegend, was part of their ancient mythology because they naturally formed atriad. Three was a sacred number to ancient Celts. Shamrocks, which aredifferent from the four-leaf clover, are more widely available in the United Statesthan in Ireland and are said to bring good luck.The Blarney Stone – If you ever take a vacation in Ireland, most people willrecommend that you visit Blarney Castle. While you’re there, make sure you takethe opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone. Those who do kiss the Blarney Stone,which is not an easy task, are said to be given the gift of gab, or the ability tospeak eloquently.Leprechauns – Another traditionally Irish invention, the leprechaun is an Irishfairy that looks like an old man. He is said to have a pot of gold, which can onlybe found by following the sound of his hammer. If you can catch the leprechaun,legend says he’ll give you his pot of gold. Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 3 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
Irish Cooking and Its HistoryIf you want to learn about Irish cuisine, you just have to learn about the people ofIreland because the two are inseparable. Anthropologists have determined thatpeople began living on the Emerald Isle about 8,000 years ago and they livedmainly on what the sea and forests could provide. They also gathered the wildedibles that were available – watercress, berries, nuts, and wild lettuces. Theyevolved into an agricultural society around 4500 B.C. and began to cultivate oats,barley, and wheat after the British had introduced them to the inhabitants. Soonafter, they began to domesticate animals and use them for food. They addedmilk, butter and cheese to their diets along with the meat from goats, sheep, andcattle.As today, a good quantity of food would have been cooked during the earlygastronomic history of Ireland. Usually food was cooked in a large pot, like acauldron, that had three legs and that could be placed directly over the fire, leftsimmering continuously. (This method of cleaning is the basis for the song “Peasporridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot, nine days old.”)Where you lived determined what you would have cooking in your pot. If youlived on the coast, your pot would be full of seafood, seaweed, herbs, andpossibly some wild vegetables. If you lived inland, your pot would have containedwild game, vegetables, and herbs.Another method of cooking, particularly for wild fowl, was to cover the entire birdin a casing of a couple of inches of blue clay. The clay was then put into the hotfire and allowed to bake. When the clay was baked as hard as stone, it wastaken out of the fire and broken open. The feathers and skin were easily removedwith the clay. You could also find people cooking meat, usually whole animals, onspits over open flames.Breads, made from eight different grains grown in Ireland, were cooked byplacing the cauldron, turned upside down, on top of hot coals or stones. Thisacted as a basic oven. Because cauldrons were so valuable, and many peopledidn’t have them, it is likely that bread was placed on hot flagstones and thenplaced in front of the hearth to cook.As the Irish began to cultivate crops, one crop that could easily be found wascorn. A large part of the corn grown was not used as a food source, but was usedfor creating ale. The corn ale was mixed with herbs, honey, and spices and wasconsumed by everyone in the Irish family.Mead was another alcoholic beverage consumed by the Irish, but it wasgenerally reserved for feasts. Fermenting honey and water then adding herbsand spices made the mead. Additional honey was added to sweeten the mead. Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 4 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
Wines made from grapes were not common in Ireland until they were used as ameans of trade with the Gauls.Dairy products – cheese, butter, and milk – were very important in the Irish diet.It would not have been uncommon to find butter and cheese made from sheep’smilk as opposed to cow’s milk.According to historical accounts, it is unlikely that vegetables played a very largepart in the Irish diet prior to the 8th century. If they were used in cooking, the mostlikely vegetables to be used would have been leeks, onions, nettles, andwatercress. They would have used any fruits they could find – sloe berry,raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, and elderberry – would have been gatheredfrom the area. Apples seem to have been the only type of fruit that wascultivated.Perhaps the most well known of all Irish foods is the potato, which wasintroduced to Ireland in the 17th century. The potato is believed to be a native ofthe Americas and has only become a staple in Ireland within the last 300 years.The potato was first introduced to Europe in 1570 by the Spanish who brought itback from their conquests in the New World.By 1663 the potato was entrenched as a staple of the Irish diet; by 1770 it hadbecome so popular that it had become known as the “Irish Potato.” Families inIreland depended upon the potato to supplement their meager winter diets.Dependence upon one crop, however, had a detrimental effect on the countryand its population.Although there had been lesser famines in Ireland due to extreme cold weather,blight on the crop caused the “Great Potato Famine” of 1845-1848, causing thedeaths of over 1 million people. Approximately 3 million people also emigratedfrom Ireland during this time period. Following the great famine, however, thepotato has remained one of the staple foods on the Irish diet. FREE Menu Planning Guide Get a free Menu Planning guide at www.MenuPlanningCentral.com and watch for an incredible offer to get access to Menu Planning Central. Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 5 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
Traditional Corned BeefIngredients:3-4 lbs. corned beef brisket 6 whole cloves2 onions, sliced 6 medium potatoes, pared2 garlic cloves, minced 5 small carrots, pared2 bay leaves 1 medium head cabbage, cut into 6 wedgesPreparation:Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.Place the corned beef, onion, garlic, cloves, and bayleaves in the Dutch oven and add water so it is barelycovered. Cover and let simmer for one hour per pound ofmeat, or until the meat is fork tender. Do not let it cometo a boil. Remove the meat from the pot and then add the potatoes and carrots.Replace the cover and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for 10 minutes and then addthe cabbage wedges. Allow the mixture to cook for an additional 20 minutes oruntil all of the vegetables are tender.You may glaze the corned beef while the vegetables are cooking by spreadingthe fat side of the meat with a light coating of prepared mustard. Sprinkle ¼ cupbrown sugar and ¼ teaspoon of cloves over the mustard. Place the meat into ashallow pan and place it in the oven, which has been set to 350 degrees. Allowthe meat to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 6 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
Irish Soda BreadIngredients:2 cups flour ¼ cup butter½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup raisins½ cup sugar, additional for sprinkling 1 teaspoon caraway seeds½ teaspoon baking soda 1 egg½ teaspoon baking powder about ½ cup buttermilkPreparation:Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, baking soda,baking powder). Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coursemeal. Add the raisins and caraway seeds. In a ¾ measuring cup, break the egginto the cup and then add enough buttermilk to fill the cup. Add this mixture to theflour and mix until it is thoroughly blended. Take the dough out of the bowl andknead it. Split the dough into several small rounds of the same size. Make across on the top of the dough with a knife and then drizzle melted butter on top.Sprinkle sugar on top of the scones. Place them on a greased cookie sheet andbake until they are golden brown (approximately 30 minutes.) You can use agreased iron skillet in place of the cookie sheet.Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz1234567890ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 7 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!
Irish Cream CheesecakeIngredients:1 cup graham cracker crumbs 3 eggs, separated¼ cup sugar 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened¼ cup margarine, melted 2 tablespoons cocoa1 envelope unflavored gelatin 2 tablespoons cold coffee (can use bourbon)½ cold water 1 cup whipping cream, whipped1 cup sugarPreparation:Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and margarine in a bowl. Afterthoroughly mixed, press them into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Softenthe gelatin in water. Mix together ¾ cup sugar and beaten egg yolks, stirringconstantly, cook this mixture over low heat for about 3 minutes. Mix the creamcheese and cocoa together with an electric mixer on medium speed until it is wellblended. Gradually add the gelatin to the coffee and then add that to the cheesemixture. Chill until thickened, but not until it is completely set.As the cheese mixture chills, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Graduallyadd the remaining mixture and mix until they form stiff peaks. Take the cheesemixture out of the refrigerator and fold the egg whites and whipped cream into it.When the eggs and cream are thoroughly incorporated, pour this over the crust.Put back into the refrigerator and chill until firmly set. Enjoy!So, how about you, do you have Irish blood flowing through your veins?In the past, at most times of the year, being Irish wasn’t always a good thing. AsSaint Patrick’s Day draws near, however, everyone wants to be Irish. They wantto be associated with the people of the Emerald Isles, to maybe enjoy a little bitof the “luck of the Irish,” even if it is just for one day each year. Save Time. Save Money. With our free menu planning guide. Get yours at www.MenuPlanningCentral.com Like this free book? Share it with a friend. 8 It’ll give you the luck of the Irish!